Do you find yourself frustrated with your team’s behaviors and disappointed with the results you’re seeing from them? Are you having a tough time getting your employees on board with your stated expectations? 

One-on-one coaching can help.

Individually meeting with each staff member is a key aspect to ensuring that you and your team share a common vision. These meetings present an opportunity for each employee to lead a conversation about what’s going well and what items you can help with, and they give you both a chance to discuss performance and behaviors that are affecting desired results.

The most effective one-on-one coaching is consistent and frequent. When held regularly, these meetings foster an environment that’s less defensive and more reflective, thus creating a strong culture of accountability and momentum toward improvement and teamwork. Effective coaching modifies behavior; behavior produces results; results guide coaching. 

If you’re not sure where to start, here are my top tips for a successful one-on-one coaching session:

Be physically and mentally prepared

Set a schedule and share it with the employee so that you’re both respectful of one another’s time, and so that you and they can prepare. Limit each meeting to 15 minutes to enable both you and the employee to focus on specific goals and key performance indicators. Have key performance indicators and target goals available to discuss.

Listen to what’s being said and seek to understand

Explore your employee’s perspective by asking questions rather than launching into a one-way conversation. Facilitate learning through self-evaluation. Ask about behaviors that are creating both desired and undesired results. Explore with each employee what they did well. Ask how they think they could improve and what that would look like. Never tell when you can ask.

In addition to this, ensure that you’re free from distractions and engaged in the conversation. Give your full attention to your employee. There’s nothing worse than having a conversation with someone who isn’t paying attention.

Gain commitment from each employee by having them create their own initiative for change

Instead of dictating what needs to happen for change to occur, invite employees to create their own actions and measurements toward desired results. I guarantee you’ll have a more committed team. Encourage your employee to demonstrate improvements.

When the meeting wraps up, genuinely thank employees for their time. Make notes for the next one-on-one coaching session so you can follow up on action items and self-evaluate your performance.


One-on-one coaching works. There’s a direct correlation between a company’s commitment to it and the realization of organizational and departmental goals. If you’re struggling with getting your team aligned with your goals and expectations, give one-on-one coaching a try. You and your employees will all soon be heading the same way: toward a more effective performance.


Publication date: 5/29/2019


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